Review: Critical's newest addition to their already star-studded roster is Particle, a young-gun on a mission and a producer whose combination of old school sonics, foghorn-era influences and minimal finesse makes him a perfect fit for Kasra's underground institution. His contribution to the renowned Binary series is his first full-length outing on the label and it's fantastic. 'Tape Pack Flex' brings rough drums and a rougher bassline to the table, its satisfying wobbliness kicking off the release perfectly. The broken force of 'the Arrival' is another highlight, as is 'Neptune's blend of modernist and old-school vibes. Wicked release.
Review: Particle is part of the next generation of D&B producers who have been so successful in breathing a bit of new, invigorating air into a scene typically dominated by a handful of older producers. Critical Music are one of the best labels at pushing these new guns and Particle's second full length ep on the label is evidence of that. His already trademark style is in full force on this release, with track one 'Bang' the best exemplification: breaksy, dark, pummelling and with a serious sense of menace exuding from Magugu's vocal line. This is a headsy EP and not one to miss.
Review: Chameleon Audio had a big year in 2016, instilling their name on our charts as regular go-getters ad quality scouts of new talents in the bass game. This is one of those leviathan compilations where even the most critical of DJs will find something to jump up about, as there is so much damn gear on this badboy! Tunes by the likes of Jacotanu, KXVU, and Policy deliver some much-needed grime lashings, while others like Strap C and Imtek's "Bubble, or even "Shakeup" by Particle, break out the London half-step riddims for the heads. From dub to house, the influences in these things are vast and unmatched. Dig through it.
Review: Based in Walsall, the Chameleon Audio imprint, headed up by MoJoe and Chemist RNS, has been one of the most impressive midlands based movements in recent years. This latest compilation entitled 'Colours' sees them gather together a selection of their finest troopers, including the likes of Chemist RNS, Aranha, Triple S, Particle and more. We also some exciting debuts from the likes of Defiant and Khabs as well as stormers from S3 Dubs with 'Blur' and Sensi with 'Corvus'. For us the standout track of the whole compilation comes from grimey man of the minute Jakebob alongside fellow producer and vocalist: Rakjay entitled 'Sailor Jerry's. The pair get busy on this one as they lay down some skippy UKG flavours and electric vocal flows.
Review: In terms of legendary status for labels over on the jungle/jump-up side of the scene, it's pretty hard to beat Serial Killaz. Run by the duo of the same name, the imprint has arrived with the second instalment of their mixtape series and it's unsurprisingly good. Full of big tunes from guys like Serial Killaz themselves, Vital Elements and Upgrade, it's the latter of these guys that takes the cake with 'Steel Drum'. You've probably heard this one doing the rounds and it's actually already been released, but oh boy what a tune this is: a screaming, siren-lake mash of grating metallic synths and punching drums all come together to make an unstoppably good piece of music. Don't sleep on the rest of these tunes though, and a special mention goes to DJ Hybrid's 'Beatbox' - naught jungle vibes.